Challenges & Opportunities

The 1977 Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania (Articles 12 and 13) guarantees equality between men and women and supports their full participation in social, economic and political life. Gender equality and women’s empowerment also forms a major component of the National Poverty Reduction Strategies (MKUKUTA II in Mainland and MKUZA II in Zanzibar) under the goals on governance, education and health.

In addition to national strategies, Tanzania has ratified the following international commitments to women’s rights:

United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979)

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (1989)

Convention on the Political Rights of Women (1952)

Beijing Declaration and the Beijing Platform for Action (1995) on women’s economic and political empowerment, education and training;

Cairo Declaration on Population and Development - ICPD (1994)

Millennium Declaration and Development Goals (MDGs), including MDG 3 on gender equality and women’s empowerment 

Universal Declaration on Democracy (1997)

United Nations Security Council (UN-SC) Resolution 1325 (2000) and Resolution 1820 (2006) on gender equality, protection and participation of women in conflict resolutions, peacemaking and state-building


Despite these commitments, challenges for gender equality remain in Tanzania. The country ranks 125th out of 155 countries on the Gender-related Development Index for 2009. The 2008 Gender Empowerment Measure puts Tanzania at 48th place out of the 108 countries measured. And while Tanzania is on track to reach the MDG target on gender, high drop-out rates for girls, and gender parity in secondary and tertiary education remain a concern. As well, maternal mortality remains high and the burden of HIV is still heavy, with higher infection rates in women than men. 

Women also face challenges in economic empowerment and access to decision-making at all levels and there are many laws and customary practices that remain discriminatory against women. Women continue to be more likely than men to be poor and illiterate, to be subject to gender-based violence and usually have less access than men to medical care, property ownership, credit, training and employment. 


United Nations in Action

In Tanzania, 10 UN agencies (UN Women, FAO, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNIDO, UNDP, UNAIDS, ILO and WFP) came together in 2006 to establish the Inter-Agency Gender Group (IAGG). The objective of the group is to mainstream gender in all UN programmes in Tanzania and hence to support Government in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The IAGG is now advising the ten Programme Working Groups under the 2011-2015 UN Development Assistance Plan.

The IAGG is providing the following tools and guidance to UN programmes: A framework to support gender mainstreaming across the UNDAP; capacity building to coordinate initiatives on gender equality and women's empowerment; an advocacy strategy on gender equality. 

IAGG has celebrated a number of achievements, including;

Gender audits of UN joint programmes

Providing quality assurance for gender mainstreaming in UNDAP formulation

A study to assist gender mainstreaming under UNDAP annual work planning

Gender advocacy campaigns for TV and radio

Supporting UN agencies to mark important events such as International Women’s Day, 16 days of activism on Violence against Women, the Secretary General’s UNiTE Campaign etc.

  • FAO
  • ILO
  • ITC
  • UNDP
  • UNEP
  • UNIC
  • UNV
  • UNWomen
  • WFP
  • WHO
  • imo
  • unctad
  • unescoblue
  • unhr
  • unicef

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